History of the Word Paper Chase
Paper Chase: Origin and Application
Paper chase is a term that is popularly used to describe law classrooms. This phrase was made famous by the success of the movie, book, and series of the same name that depicts a law classroom's accurate life. Most viewers are attracted to and enjoy the interaction between the authoritative professor and his students. Many professionals can relate to the characters as a reminder of college days. Apart from the fun aspect of going down the memory lane, you get to raise questions about law and teaching.
The media picture focuses on Professor Charles W. Kingsfield and how successful he was in class. He was teaching contract law, and his preferred technique of teaching was through the Socratic approach. However, upon a closer examination, the Kingsfield's performance is an outdated and exaggerated form of the Socratic style.
Benefits of the Paper Chase Style
The Socratic unique teaching technique bases its origin from the Greek philosopher Socrates who used inquiries to understand his students' point of view and reveal any contradictions. Socrates applied this teaching technique to make students explore beyond the obvious and question information taught. The Socratic style encourages learners to be critical thinkers and approach the law as intellectuals. It is a useful tool when interacting with a large number of students in discussions that lead to precise solutions. This method promotes corporation between students and teachers, where they work together to understand issues completely.
When exploring difficult concepts and principles, this method employs the use of participatory discussions between the students and their professors. The goal is to learn how legal problems are analyzed, reasoning with the analogy, think critically about your own arguments and those raised by others, and understand the impact on those the law is subject to.
Socratic discourse needs the participants to develop, articulate, and defend arguments that may seem like intuitions at first. Since lawyers are problem-solvers, the priority of law schools is to equip students with problem-solving tools and skills. Laws will always change, and problems vary, so professors cannot offer definite answers but rather prepare students with reasoning skills applicable for unforeseen future events.
Critical reasoning is encouraged and leads to a deeper comprehension of the law. The Socratic technique utilizes a lot of surprise examinations. This approach encourages careful silent listening and promotes active participation in classrooms.
The Modern Socratic Technique
Today, the Socratic method differs from the historical version, which relies on the student's answers. Instead, a set of questions aimed at driving towards a particular idea are used. This encourages participation and excitement in the discussions. The use of such questions leads to actual learning and retaining information rather than memorizing and replicating past information.
The Socratic approach has widely been mistaken as a confrontational and intimidating learning method. Instead, it should be recognized as a dynamic style that encourages critical thought among learners and encourages the taking of intellectual risk in pursuit of knowledge.
Based on the paper chase lessons, it is clear that teachers need to change their techniques of delivering information to help learners reach their full potential.